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August's Featured Speaker: Kathleen Wood, Kathleen Wood Partners

Kathleen will be part of our Women's Entrepreneurs Circle and also presenting breakout education sessions on Sunday, August 23 at the Western Foodservice & Hospitality Expo and Tuesday, October 6 at the Florida Restaurant & Lodging Show.


LeaderCHOICES – Unlocking Your Leadership Potential

To lead or to not lead that is truly the leadership question.  Leadership is a thread in the tapestry of the American Dream.   There is an adage that states “that many are called and few respond.”  It is definitely a choice to respond and most assuredly a choice to lead. 

For over 20 years, I have had the privilege to be growth strategist working with successful companies in the foodservice, restaurant, manufacturing and service industries.  This has provided me the opportunity to work with leaders from the Boardroom to the break room.  I have worked with leaders as their companies became number one in the Nation, their market segment, their category and most importantly their community.

I am continually asked “how do you work with such diverse companies and they are all successful? What is your secret?”   There is no secret as much as my fundamental belief that life is short and I truly only want to work with leaders who are willing to do what it takes to be successful. 

The path to success is not for the faint of the heart.  In fact, it is for leaders who have passion, courage and determination in their hearts.   Based upon my experiences, I have been able to identify four critical choices that successful leaders make that enable them to take their companies to unparalleled levels of success.  

 LeaderChoice One – Clarity of Vision.  I will ask leaders to tell me what their vision, mission and goals are for their company or their team.  My leadership belief is  “the clearer the leader the clearer the team.” If the leader cannot articulate the vision and mission then how can they expect the team to do the same! 

LeaderChoice Two – Build a Team of Achievers.  I continually share my other leadership belief “the team is a reflection of the leader.”  If the company is crazy and chaotic odds are so is the leader.   Here are the questions I ask leaders regarding their team that quickly allows me to see the alignment in their business.  
a) Are you recruiting team members for your vision – so your team connects with your purpose?
b) Are you interviewing team members to reflect your mission – so your team can share your passion?
c) Are you providing new hire orientations – so your team can further believe in your mission and vision?
d) Are you training you team to execute your standards – so your team can also achieve success?

LeaderChoice Three – Where the Leader Focuses the Team Focuses.  Successful leaders are clear about their priorities, goals and focus.  They communicate these through their words, actions and plans.   One simple test I utilize to see if the team is focused is ask everyone on the team the same question “ what are the top three priorities of your team?”  If I get same answer I know the team is incredibly focused.  If I get a variety of answers I know where the leader needs to focus. 

LeaderChoice Four – Leadership is a Choice.   There are very good manager that never becomes great leaders.  Then there are great leaders that are reluctant to lead.  Leadership is a choice – a calling – an inspiration.  As a leader you will have the opportunity to teach, coach, lead and inspire people to achieve things that they thought might never be possible. 

Leadership is a privilege, an honor and one of the greatest joys in business to lead a company, a team and amazing people to new levels of personal and professional success. Make the choice to unlock your leadership potential, I conclude with one more of my leadership beliefs; Your success as a leader is a reflection of LeaderChoice – Choice to Lead!



More about Kathleen Wood:

Kathleen is the founder of Kathleen Wood Partners, LLC, an innovative growth strategy firm, specializing in shifting leaders and businesses to new levels of success. Kathleen and her partners offer strategic consulting services, brand development, and results-driven solutions for service, manufacturing and retail clients. Her firm consistently works with Fortune 500 leaders, INC 1000 founders and entrepreneurs.

In August of 2012, Kathleen and her sister Sue Tierno and niece Jen Tierno launched their own concept Suzy’s Swirl.  Suzy’s Swirl is an innovative self-serve yogurt, gelato and sorbetto shop.  Their vision is to re-ignite the American Dream through swirling frozen goodness, swirling greatness and swirling gratitude with their innovative franchise program.  In June of 2014, they opened their second location in Lake Bluff, IL.

Kathleen is a nationally recognized growth strategist, motivational speaker and author, and a proven leader in business and non-profits. She blends her corporate sensibility and rigor with entrepreneurial vigor and innovation to deliver sustainable solutions. In 2010 she published her first book, The BEST Shift of Your Life – The Restaurant Manager’s Guide for Success Outside the Restaurant.

Kathleen is currently a board member for the People Report™ and Women’s Foodservice Forum, People Matter Strategic Advisory Board, Bama International Advisory Board and she is the co-founder of The Foodservice Council for Women.  She holds a Bachelors of Science degree in hotel restaurant and management from University of Wisconsin – Stout and Master in Business Administration from Loyola University of Chicago.









Archives: 

July Business Builder - The Big Money Maker: An Intro to Full-Service and Off-Premise Catering
June Business Builder - Managing Generational Conflict
May Business Builder - Top 5 Reasons Why Your Business Needs a Video
April Business Builder - How to Lead Your Brand Into Menu Labeling
March Business Builder - 5 Best Practices to Improve Morale in Your Restaurant

February Business Builder - Four Steps to Build Your Network to Increase Your Networth by Kathleen Wood
January Business Builder - Defining Your Restaurant's Customer Experience by Joel Cohen
November Business Builder - Gluten-Free Menus Can be a Challenge - Or Not
October Business Builder - Understanding How Far in Advance to Initiate the Lease Renewal Process
September Business Builder - The Key to Running a Profitable Restaurant by David Scott Peters
August Business Builder - Improve Your Menu Engineering by Mark Kelnhofer
July Business BuilderRestaurants that Cater - Set a Minimum to Make You Money by Sandy Korem
June Business Builder - 5 Leadership Traits Required for Growing Restaurant Business by Darren Denington